In welcoming the LEGO® KidsFest to Denver (click here for more information), I’ve had some time to uncover some fabulous facts and information about LEGO®’s – first, the history:
The LEGO company actually began in 1932 when Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter, almost went bankrupt (encouraging news for all of us currently facing financial challenges). His first product made in the workshop was surprisingly a Wooden toy duck.
Apparently, during an economic downturn, his business had gone so sour that he started making wooden toys and selling them from his workshop. He eventually named his company LEGO®, which is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”.
Turns out he didn’t even invent the blocks, instead, he was simply inspired by the “Kiddicraft Self-Locking Building Brick” patented by British inventor Hilary Fisher Page.
Many years later, LEGO® aquired rights to the Kiddicraft block. Then in 1961, LEGO® was awarded its first US patent for “Toy Building Brick.” Today, more than 400 billion LEGO® bricks have been produced since 1949. You can read more about the history and creation of LEGO®’s on Neatorama.
Meet Nathan Sawaya, a former lawyer who quit his job in 2001 to focus on becoming the world’s foremost LEGO® artist.
According to his website bio, “Sawaya’s childhood dreams were always fun. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and also played with LEGO®. Sawaya attended NYU. After college he rediscovered LEGO® but not as a toy, but rather as a medium.
Today Sawaya has more than 1.5 million colored bricks in his New York art studio. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful. Sawaya’s ability to transform LEGO® bricks into something new, his devotion to scale and color perfection, the way he conceptualizes the action of the subject matter, enables him to elevate an ordinary toy to the status of fine art.”
More really fun LEGO® facts:
- LEGO® minifigures are out of this world, literally. The 2 Mars Rovers have an image of the LEGO® minifigure etched into their front grill.
- Approximately 7 LEGO® sets are sold each second.
- Laid end to end, the number of LEGO® bricks sold in a year would reach more than 5 times around the world.
- There are 915 million ways to combine six eight-stud LEGO® bricks.
- Children around the world spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO® bricks.
- LEGO® is the contraction of two Danish words, “leg godt” which means “play well”.
- 19 billion LEGO® elements are produced every year. 2.16 million LEGO® elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.
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